Standing in the kitchen during a potluck I asked the “standard” Quest question: “What blocks are you taking next term, Kyle?”. When “Walking” was part of his response I was instantly curious, confused and impressed! My big Q Question is “Why Travel?”- I had to take this course! I was unsure how one could study walking in a month, when there are so many different aspects connected to the act that many of us have been doing since the first 12-15 months of our lives.
Spending so much time in the classroom sitting, and time at desks staring at a computer screen I find it crucial to also study things by doing….study walking by actually getting outside and walking. We read, we write, we think, but we also walk! Learning by doing has changed my outlook on the theories we read about, and helped me to question other ideas. Every time I answer the “standard” Quest question: “What block are you in?” I respond with a quick answer, “Walking with Reason”. A laugh followed by a confused look are the most common reactions I’ve been getting. People don’t understand what the class means. “Like the PE class?”, “So… you walk a lot?”, “So, you don’t have readings to do this month?” The questions go on. Many do not see the class as academic, and having to “prove” that it is academic is frustrating. The idea that walking is not seen as something worth or possible to study adds to the socialized stigmas I have been picking up on.
Walking is one of the first milestones in life, a primary mode of transportation and a form of recreation. In this class we have experienced walking first hand and discovered the challenges and benefits of walking as it pertains to our questions.
We relate the act of walking to transportation, recreation and health through a variety of different lenses (anthropology/ethnology/demographics, psychology, philosophy and spirituality). Linking a variety of readings to experiences gained from our walking, we try to understand why we walk, don’t walk, and costs and benefits to walking.
Walking is a tool. A tool not used enough today!